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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > May 2011 > Work-at-home offers usually scams

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Work-at-home offers usually scams


As the school year closes, many high school and college graduates will be hunting for jobs and considering job placement services or work-at-home opportunities. 

Some job placement services are legitimate, but others misrepresent their services, promote outdated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees for services that never lead to a job.

When researching job placement firms, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you:
  • Reject any company that promises to get you a job.
  • Be skeptical of companies that charge first, even if they guarantee refunds.
  • Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money.
  • Understand the refund or cancellation policy.
  • Get all verbal promises in writing.
  • Avoid high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now.
  • Don’t trust a firm that is reluctant to answer your questions.

Also research the company’s reputation with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau before you sign a contract or make a payment.

In late April, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a settlement with Akron-based work-at-home companies NSA Technologies LLC and Home Job Placement, and their owners. The settlement resolved allegations that the companies violated consumer law when offering work-at-home programs online. Under the agreement, they will pay more than $35,000 to affected consumers.

Although the Akron companies agreed to pay back consumers, most work-at-home offers are scams that usually are located out of the country.

For example, a Warren County consumer said she received notice about becoming a secret shopper. The company sent her a cashier's check and told her to deposit the check, keep a portion for herself, and wire the rest to England. She wired more than $3,500 before she realized the check she had deposited didn't clear the bank. Unfortunately, she fell victim to the scam.

Keep in mind that you can find many legitimate job postings for free. For example, state job listings are available at and federal job posts can be found at


Report a job scam

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Research a business’s reputation

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